The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

You Go Girl!


The optics make me smile.  There is a little, old grandmother with white hair sitting at a table alone, facing off with a panel of men who question, sometimes rudely, everything she has done and everything she plans to do.  Those are the optics for the twice yearly testimony of the Fed Head before the … Continue reading You Go Girl!

Leading On The Dance Floor


Recent data suggests that the economy is sputtering somewhat, but I’m not particularly worried about that.  It probably suggests the GDP growth rate is slowing from the 3.5 to 4.0% range to a more sustainable 3.0 to 3.5% range. Does that suggest the stock market is slowing?  No!  Over the last 115 years, the Dow … Continue reading Leading On The Dance Floor

Special Words


When I joined the Army many decades ago, I knew very little.  About the only thing I knew was that I wanted to be the best possible soldier and to make my father proud.  So, I applied to become a “Green Beret.” However, it was close to graduation before I realized our proper name was … Continue reading Special Words

Watching Molasses


For at least ten years, there has been a simmering battle between financial advisors and stockbrokers.  The battleground has been fought in the SEC, FINRA (which regulates stockbrokers) and lobbyists from one end of Connecticut Avenue to the other.  It has been as exciting as watching molasses ooze.  They have been fighting about whether stockbrokers … Continue reading Watching Molasses

One More Time . . .


I’ve written this before.  In fact, whenever the stock market hits a new high, I have to write it again. The S&P 500 was up 13% last year, but your portfolio was not.  Should you be unhappy about this?  NO!  In fact, if your portfolio was up that much, you should consider firing your investment … Continue reading One More Time . . .



Since ISIS or ISIL burst onto the world’s stage last year, I’ve been trying to get my head around the subject of “evil.”  To me, it seemed that ISIS had taken the notion of evil to a whole new level.  Hitler and Stalin certainly killed more people but in a more mechanical and a somewhat … Continue reading On ISIS And EVIL

Too Sudden And Too Severe


The staggering drop in oil late last year was universally unexpected.  While we have seen drops before, this one is both sudden and severe.  My take on it was that North American frackers were so successful in making us energy independent that the world slowly became over-supplied with oil. Then, when questions about the global … Continue reading Too Sudden And Too Severe

He Said, She Said . . .


Negotiations are underway to resolve the Greek Debt Tragedy, version 3.1.  Unfortunately, it has become a Greece versus Germany battle.  Greece argues that one-third of their debt should be forgiven.  After all, one-half of Germany’s debt was forgiven after World War II.  In addition, Germany inflicted immeasurable destruction on Greece during that war and never … Continue reading He Said, She Said . . .

A JOLTing Report


We are so accustomed to economic data that contradicts other economic data that we become almost giddy when data does agree.  Last week’s Jobs Report was simply great, showing a million jobs created over the last three months, as well as discouraged workers streaming back into the workforce.  Yesterday’s JOLTS (Job Openings & Labor Turnover … Continue reading A JOLTing Report

Sweet Satisfaction


It is with sweet satisfaction when you learn that something you always suspected is now justified by research.  I have never believed that either the body or the mind were machines that simply wear out over time.  I have suspected the aging process can be delayed by both physical exercise and mental exercise.  Yesterday’s Wall … Continue reading Sweet Satisfaction

Better Than Good


The January Jobs Report was simply great.  Not only were 257 thousand jobs created last month, but we learned last year was even better than we thought, especially the last two months of 2014.  For the last three months, including January, we’ve averaged 336 thousand new jobs each month, which is the best since 1997. … Continue reading Better Than Good

A Heavenly Squid


When investment nerds die and go to heaven, they wake up in the research department of Goldman Sachs, the legendary Wall Street investment house widely known for their “aggressiveness.”  The latest research indicates the following: 1.  Our GDP will grow at a 3.2% rate this year, compared to 1.1% in Europe.2.  The dollar will continue … Continue reading A Heavenly Squid

How Long Is Long Enough?


Yesterday, when John Boehner was awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to the 40 surviving members of the Devil’s Brigade (predecessor unit of the “Green Berets”), he teared-up.  If I had been there with them, tears would have been rolling down my cheeks as well. Quoting from the Associated Press:  In 1942, they were lumberjacks, miners, … Continue reading How Long Is Long Enough?

The Banality Of Monsters


My support for the death penalty solidified in 1962.  I think it was the now extinct Look magazine that published a full-page photo of the lifeless body of Adolf Eichmann hanging by his neck in Jerusalem.  The photo was a relief.  I didn’t want to live on the same planet as a person who actually bragged … Continue reading The Banality Of Monsters

The Road To Hell Is Paved . . .


In his iconic 1667 book Paradise Lost, John Milton wrote “easy is the descent into Hell, for it is paved with good intentions.”  English professors believe that is the origin for the expression “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.”  It also explains how college loans became economic quicksand. Even though it is … Continue reading The Road To Hell Is Paved . . .

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